Where Rocky’s At

by ,

Fifth Estate # 59, August 1-14, 1968

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Written with the assistance of Bob Fitch, and the Ramparts Research Commune.
Reprinted from San Francisco Express Times

Surely it isn’t brazen self-confidence that drives Nelson Rockefeller, scion of the most powerful network of vested interests in the Free World, to appear as the Galahad of the forces of Change in the pre-convention scramble. After all, empires are not administered by headstrong individuals but by hereditary networks, families, tribes—Nelson does not go off on his own to contest control of the Republican Party. Then what could he have in mind?

For sixteen of the twenty Cold War years, Rockefeller trainees have monopolized the key foreign-policy post in the Cabinet. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles was not only a partner in Sullivan & Cromwell (attorneys for the Rockefeller’s Standard Oil) and a director of the Schroeder-Rockefeller bank (which helped finance the Nazis), but also droll coincidence!—former president of the Rockefeller Foundation (a philanthropic sideline, repository of the major holdings in Standard Oil of New Jersey, a main predator of the poor countries). Dean Rusk, more of an office boy than the aristocrat Dulles, also received his training as president of the Rockefeller Foundation, while even the interim stand-in, after Dulles’ well-earned demise—Christian Herter—was married to a Standard Oil fortune.

Nor does the major Rockefeller influence in Washington end in the feeble State Department. C. Douglas Dillon, Secretary of the Treasury under Kennedy, administrator of the New Frontier’s economic program, was also a Rockefeller Foundation trustee and a director of the Rockefeller court; he was mentioned for his Secretaryship by Robert A. Lovett, also of the Rockefeller Foundation and Chase Manhattan and, according to Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., one of the two “heads of the American Establishment.” True, McNamara came from Ford, but the rooms of the court are not carefully boxed apart. Consider that John J. McCloy, Schlesinger’s other Establishment head, is both a director of Chase Manhattan (and several other Rockefeller corporations) and at the same time, Chairman of the Board of the Ford Foundation (which indeed OWNS the Ford Motor Company.

The diagram of incestuous power could stretch mesh-like, thick with interconnecting lines, over many square feet of print. The Rockefeller empire is not a piece of the action, but the action itself.

Military-industrial complex? Itek and Thiokel, probably a piece of Chrysler and possibly of McDonnell-Douglas, the biggest defense contractors, a creature of Laurence Rockefeller’s $500,000 investment a few decades back. CIA? The two determining directors have been Allen Dulles, as snugly and smugly in the Rockefeller fold as his brother, and John A. McCone of Standard Oil of California. This is no mere abstract structure: it works and it makes history; ignore it at peril.

A case in point is the 1960 coup against Patrice Lumumba, perpetrated with the connivance of U.U. members of the UN Secretariat, in particular one Andrew Cordier. The Rockefellers, doubling as financiers and mineral-extractors, had established a solid foothold in pre-independence Congo, and were trying to beckon other American capital to replace the Belgians.

In the Congo, now, here came Lumumba with the nerve to plan Congolese sovereignty, including the right to apportion national resources. Fortunately for the Rockefellers, U.S. Secretary of State was old employee Rusk, head of the CIA was reliable Allen, and the ranking U.S. member of the U.N. Secretariat—where Lumumba naively sought aid—was Ralph Bunche: sorry for the monotony, but, yes, another Rockefeller trustee. Subordinate Andrew Cordier did the dirty work, for which he was promoted to the head of Columbia’s School of International Affairs. (On the Rockefeller-Columbia-CIA axis (see Ramparts, July 15). When the smoke had cleared and Lumumba was buried, the Congo had been made safe for America. And along comes David Rockefeller, Chase Manhattan president, heading a consortium of U.U. corporations to look over the new investment prospects.

Why are the Rockefellers so important? Partly it’s the sheer size of the property they dominate. These include the second largest commercial bank in the world (Chase Manhattan); the largest investment bank (First Boston Corp.); the second, third and eighth largest insurance companies (Metropolitan, Equitable, and Travelers); the largest oil companies—Standard of New Jersey (as an index of its Socony Mobil, Standards of Indiana, Ohio, and California, Marathon of Ohio, Atlantic-Richfield, Continental, Consolidated Natural Gas—plus Eastern Airlines, plus American Express, plus ten foundations with combined assets of over a billion dollars. They also share control in AT&T. All told, the Rockefeller-dominated companies mass to an economic supernation worth somewhere between 100 and 150 billion dollars—they can buy anything but love and the Presidency.

But sheer size, however ominous, only begins to measure the weight and authority of the Rockefeller empire. Together with a handful of other, comparable interest webs, the Rockefellers ARE the overseas empire. Forty percent of direct American Common Market investments, for example, are the business of three firms: Esso (Rockefeller), Ford, and General Motors (Morgan-Dupont). Without the slightest need for slick ideological rationale, the strategic placement of these investments in the world market would alone explain why the Rockefellers have such a stake in Washington life: there, after all, are made “the decisions that affect their lives.”

When Nelson the Rock, then, says that “we shouldn’t fear change,” there’s something very direct—one might even say personal—about the “we.” When he calls for “honorable settlement” in Vietnam to gain “the confidence of other countries,” he’s talking hard business sense: the sense of gold and dollars. You don’t throw good money after bad.

Cynics may reflect that a Rockefeller victory would at least clarify matters somewhat. When he sends American troops to some distant outpost of the empire “to defend our interests,” at least he’ll mean it.

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